DANIEL BLUMBERG RELEASES NEW ALBUM GUT, ON MUTE
LISTEN / BUY GUT
Daniel Blumberg announces the release of his third solo studio album, GUT. The album, which follows his Ivor Novello winning score for the film The World To Come, is released today on Mute as vinyl, CD and digitally: https://mute.ffm.to/db_gut
Praise so far:
“Songs that capture the artist’s inner world with unflinching directness, it features acute renderings of pain and frustration in ballads that hit straight in the gut.” Dazed
“In just a few years Daniel Blumberg has put together a striking body of work, one that shows he’s not afraid to explore the darker aspects of humanity in a way that lays bare his own vulnerability. His third solo set is a beautiful six song cycle that ruminates on the physical and metaphysical characteristics of the stomach. Thrilling.” Uncut 8/10
“The word ‘inspiration’ gets bandied around a lot in music. But, once every so often, a work comes along that does the word justice – something that channels raw emotion and says something profound about the human condition. GUT, is one such work. This is an exploration of the relationship between the body and soul via thoughtful and heart-wrenching balladry that captures the essence of pain, frustration and fatigue. It captures a moment of true humanity, mapping both the beauty and anguish of life, even at the most difficult moments” Loud and Quiet 9/10
GUT is an unflinchingly raw and personal album, a radical departure from Blumberg’s previous work and one that firmly establishes him in a unique space within experimental music practice. It makes oblique reference to the intestinal disease Blumberg has suffered in the last few years, but more than that, it is an elemental and corporeal suite of six inter-connected songs that trace a body stripped back and rebuilt: renderings of pain, frustration and fatigue in ballads made sinew and bone; an extraordinary vocal that reaches beyond the body to escape the malfunctions of the flesh; and a musical accompaniment that draws breath and rhythm in unruly and original forms.
This sense of impulse and improvisation saturates the album from its literal subject matter all the way through to its recording strategies which have a directness that situates the album in a timeless space, its song forms authentically frank and immediate. “When the songs came together, I played it as a continuous piece,” he says, recording the majority of the half hour long album in one uninterrupted vocal take, adding few overdubs and manipulation alongside the bold and spare instrumentation that includes bass harmonica, Steinberger e-bass, synthesiser and electronic drums. The bass harmonica was the instrument which “glued it all together, in this manifestation of breath, and the bass – it is the guts of the record”.
The video for ‘CHEERUP’ is taken from a forthcoming album length film directed by Brady Corbet (Childhood of a Leader, Vox Lux). “The film was shot on 16mm black and white film; a series of motion picture portraits in which we set out to capture Blumberg’s very essence”, says Corbet. “I was struck by the album’s theme: the stomach. The stomach is a topic which is as off-limits as speaking frankly about mortality in a social setting. As stomach trouble relates to the end of a relationship, the death of the ego, and acceptance of what it means to be human, it’s a definitive offering.” Shot in a disused industrial complex in New York, the film renders Blumberg naked and vulnerable in high contrast whites and deep black. It displays the tensions of the mind defeated by the body: strained sinews rendered in stark celluloid, direct and uncompromising in its examining gaze.
Watch Brady Corbet directed video for ‘CHEERUP’:
Blumberg recently premiered the live performance of GUT at CTM Festival (Berlin), with further performances at Rewire Festival (The Hague), Les Nuits Botaniques (Brussels), Teatro Basilica (Rome) and ICA (London) and additional live performances in autumn, to be announced shortly.
GUT is out now on vinyl, CD and digitally: https://mute.ffm.to/db_gut